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Blackjack by Numbers

There's more to blackjack than just cards and chips. Like most casino card games, winning at blackjack requires the proper combination of luck and skill. The game has been studied to such an extent that the luck factor has actually been broken down into a mathematical one. Instead of thinking of events as 'lucky' or 'fortunate,' the professional blackjack players often prefer to think of them as occurrences with probabilities. True, the mathematics involved isn't very sophisticated and arithmetic skills are all you'll need to grasp the aspect of blackjack mathematics. However, the numbers here hold true in blackjack tournaments, at the blackjack table in the casino and just about every other blackjack game on the planet. Understanding the numbers and the math in play in blackjack is important if you want to develop as a blackjack player.

The numbers that are most critical to blackjack are those that deal with probabilities. Take, for example, the odds of getting the best hand in the game - blackjack - which is at 1.21% with a single deck. Add another deck and that percentage goes down to 1.19%. A blackjack is obviously very hard to get regardless of whether you're looking at it from a practical or a mathematical point of view.

You can then see that it's more reasonable to wait for other combinations. You have a 10.2% chance of getting a 20 from a single untouched deck and 6.03% for a 19. They're can't give you a sure win, but they can do so anyway given the right circumstances. However, getting those combinations - the blackjack, the 20 and the 19 - is already difficult the first time. It'd be much more so for the succeeding instances, so you can't really rely on them to give you a sizable profit from playing blackjack. That's where card counting comes in.

Card counting is one of the most popular and most effective blackjack strategies around for good reason. First and foremost is that it's based heavily on probability, so that takes care of the math aspect right there. Second, it gives you a clear picture of your odds of winning, allowing you to act accordingly.

Card counting in blackjack is statistically sound. Assuming that the card following a high card more probably has a low value (and vice versa) makes sense with regards to statistics because the chances of consecutively getting two cards from the same range of values is slim, and the chances of getting two cards with the same value are slimmer still.

Despite the image that some would like to portray, blackjack is a game that relies heavily on numbers, specifically those of probability. Blackjack professionals understand this and use strategies like card counting to address any problems with the probabilities of combinations. If you want to begin approaching their level, you might want to do the same thing.


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